Fabulous Givenchy wedding dress aside, when Meghan and Harry tied the knot last May, it was Markle’s makeup that sent the internet into meltdown mode. Gorgeously glowy and strikingly simple, Meghan’s complexion was the handiwork of one man—Daniel Martin. Martin’s the go-to guy for A-listers like Jessica Alba and Elisabeth Moss, and as a long-time friend of Meghan’s, he was a natural choice.
I was lucky enough to catch up with Martin in person at the recent NET-A-PORTER 2019 Beauty Trends Presentation, where he revealed his tips for re-creating Meghan’s wedding makeup look at home, the truth about wearing SPF on your big day and the one beauty trend he wishes brides would stop wearing. Scroll down to see what he had to say…
Re-creating Meghan's wedding makeup at home
When it comes to getting Meghan’s signature glowy bridal look for your own big day, I was surprised to learn that Martin is a real advocate for getting your skincare right first. “So much of it is understanding the way your skin is at that time,” he noted. After applying your skincare in the morning, he advises taking a pause and looking at how your skincare is sitting on your face: “If you’re shiny, I’d take a tissue and blot that out a bit, and then start your complexion.”
“The skin is an interesting organ where literally everything you put on top will just stop, and then you’re like, Oh my god, my makeup looks so heavy.” To prevent this, Martin advises applying your toners, serums and moisturisers, and then waiting as long as possible—ideally about 30 minutes—to assess what products you need to enhance certain areas and conceal others. “Take a minute to really see what your skincare has done, and then go in and say, Okay, I just need to go in and neutralise this redness—let me focus on that.”
The skincare that Daniel Martin swears by to prep skin before makeup.
Because Meghan was going to be heading outside after the ceremony for the royal procession, for Martin, it was about understanding “where the light hits, how much you want covered [and] how much you want your natural skin to come through.” Martin actually had no time with Meghan before the wedding for a trial run—all their advance communication was done via text—but his advise is to do your own trial run when you’ve got plenty of time: “I would say do this on a Saturday when you’re not going to work [because] no one really has the time to stop and really assess.”
Apply this to a cotton pad and sweep it over your skin to brighten, exfoliate and reduce the appearance of pores. Be sure to follow with an SPF to protect your skin from the sun.
This eye gel is a revitalising quick fix for puffy, tired eyes and genuinely feels like an ice cube when smoothed under the eyes.
Spend a few minutes massaging this lightweight cream into your skin to promote circulation and boost elasticity before you apply your makeup.
The wedding day SPF myth
While preparing to do my own wedding makeup last year, I really struggled to find reliable advice about whether SPF actually caused flashback in photography. The old-school advice tended to caution against using it, but other makeup artists said it was fine due to new-and-improved SPF formulations.
When asked if traditional tips about not wearing SPF on your big day still ring true, Martin said, “Oh, gosh, that’s a really good question because I had to deal with sunscreen for her, and it’s finding the right sunscreen that’s compatible under makeup so that you don’t get this flashback.”
“I found this incredible Korean SPF that’s like a cream-gel,” he continued. “It was a [factor] 50 because she gets sun… From that hour, the procession, she wound up getting a lot of sun, so I had to really think about that.”
A few of Daniel Martin's SPF favourites.
If you haven’t got the time or inclination to research the best K-beauty sunscreens for your own big day, Martin is also a big fan of Sarah Chapman’s SPF. “I just tried Sarah Chapman’s, and that one’s amazing,” he said. “It’s not necessarily a tinted moisturiser, [although] it has a tint, but it adjusts to your skin, which I really like—so that’s going to be my new favourite, actually.”
Protect skin against UV rays while adding a subtle sun-kissed glow to skin with this spray for face and body.
I have an inkling this might just be the product Martin used on Meghan for her big day. It’s a Korean cream-gel with a cellulose texture as described—and it’s SPF 50.
Martin’s new favourite SPF contains skin-adapting tints and illuminating powders to brighten the skin and even tone while protecting against UV rays.
The #1 bridal beauty mistake
When asked if there were any beauty looks or trends he’d love to stop brides wearing on their wedding day, there was no hesitation from Martin. “Contouring: Chill out, doll,” he joked. “Understand the time of day that you’re getting married. If you’re doing a lot of contouring, you don’t want to look crazy at 2 in the afternoon [or] in the morning.”
Daniel Martin’s red carpet makeup kit at the Oscars.
Martin is a seriously nice guy and was at pains to point out that makeup should be about having fun, and most women want to feel like the best version of themselves on their wedding days. “I mean, it’s their red carpet moment, no doubt—but you don’t necessarily have to have red carpet makeup for that day,” Martin explained. “I feel like because it’s such a trend and the celebrities are doing it, people feel like they have to do it.” If you’re really into the contouring idea, Martin suggests saving the contouring for evening or seeing a pro who will know the best way to contour without looking stripe-y.
Although Martin is a real advocate of using fingers to apply your makeup, a makeup sponge is a great tool for applying foundations, concealers, blushers and bronzers with a soft-focus, dewy finish.
Rather than using contouring to create definition, try a liquid highlighter like this one from Charlotte Tilbury to illuminate cheekbones and brighten your complexion.
A soft bronzer applied with a large fluffy brush can nod to contouring without the risk of harsh, streaky lines like Martin described.